"Suddenly everything fell apart for me. I haven't played the piano in front of the public for almost two years. At my last concert, at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the pain in my back was so great that during the last applause I could not get up from the stool. And I didn't know I was sick yet. Then came the very serious diagnosis. I looked at the ceiling with the feeling of 39 temperature for a year in a row".

Giovanni Allevi thus begins his monologue on the stage of the second evening of the Festival of Sanremo 2024.

The pianist was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a chronic cancer, two years ago.


"I lost a lot, my job, I lost my hair, my security, but not the hope and the desire to imagine. It was as if the illness offered me, along with the pain, unexpected gifts. Which one? I'll give you an example... Not long ago, before all this happened, during a concert in a full theater, I noticed an empty seat. Like an empty armchair?! I felt a call!

However, for a long time I gave concerts in front of an audience of fifteen, twenty people and I was very happy! Today... after the illness, I don't know what I would give to play in front of fifteen people. Numbers… don't matter! It seems paradoxical. Because each individual, each of us, each of you, is unique, unrepeatable and infinite in its own way.

When everything crumbles under your feet and only the essentials stand, the judgment we receive from the outside no longer matters. I am who I am, we are what we are. And as Kant says at the end of Critica della Ragion Pratica, the starry sky may continue to revolve in its perfect orbits, I may sink into a state of constant change and yet feel that there is something in me that remains ! And it is reasonable to think that it will remain there forever. I am who I am.

I want to believe this from start to finish. If this is indeed the case, then what does an outside judgment matter? I want to accept the new Giovanni. As I said in that last concert in Vienna, not being able to rely on my body anymore, I will play with all my soul. The song is called "Tomorrow", because tomorrow a more beautiful day will await us forever!", said Giovanni, who brought the hall to its feet.